Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Grandiose Hampton Court Palace
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Highlights

  • Walk England’s Thames Path, from Windsor into the heart of London
  • Iconic sights such as Windsor Castle, Runnymede & Hampton Court Palace
  • Contrasting landscapes from tranquil meadows to the bustling city
  • Admire London’s skyline from the South Bank including Westminster Palace
  • Riverside Greenwich, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Walk England’s Thames Path East, a National Trail, from Windsor, dominated by its royal castle and into the capital city of London.

Pass areas of great historic and royal significance such as Windsor Castle, Runnymede and Hampton Court Palace. The Thames is a river that is responsible for London’s very existence and as John Elliott Burns (1858-1943) said, “The Thames is liquid history”. It has inspired authors, poets and painters alike.

Walk into London’s bustling centre, admiring its incredible skyline and completing the trail at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich, sampling some of England’s best food in cosy pubs en route.

Day 1: Arrive in Windsor & overnight

Windsor is easily accessible and has direct trains from London Waterloo Station. The journey takes 1H. The royal palace of Windsor makes for a very interesting visit and its open all year. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Today The Queen spends most of her private weekends at the castle.


Day 2: Walk to Chertsey Bridge

The next stage takes you firstly on a riverside stroll, which compared to the hustle and bustle of Windsor, is a nice contrast. Soon you switch riverbanks and walk to the village of Datchet, before switching banks again and entering the county of Surrey.


Then encounter Runnymede, the place where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. This important document was concerned with the English legal system and decreed that everyone in England, irrespective of their wealth of status, had access to courts of law. You can visit Runnymede en route if you wish as it is right next to the Thames Path.  Next comes the small town of Chertsey, with its pretty streets.. If you have time visit the Chertsey Museum which keeps this town’s history nicely alive.


Overnight:  Chertsey/Chertsey Bridge


Walk: 20km/12m


Day 3: Walk to Kingston-upon-Thames

Today includes the only ferry crossing on the Thames Path, from Shepperton to Weybridge Landing.  You can choose to use the ferry or walk further if you wish to avoid it. Before taking the ferry pass through Dumsey Meadow and once you have disembarked from the ferry pass through Walton Bridge and the locks of Sunbury and Molesley.


Continue on reaching the London borough of Richmond and Hampton Court Palace, which is very worthy of exploration. The building of this palace began in 1514 by King Henry VIII’s chief advisor Cardinal Wolsey and it is open all year round. Continue on to Kingston-upon-Thames/Hampton Wick.


Overnight: Kingston-upon-Thames/Hampton Wick


Walk: 19km/12m


Day 4: Walk to Putney Bridge

Follow the riverside trail out of Kingston to Teddington Lock, at which point the river becomes tidal. From here continue to follow the trail south of the river and all the way to Putney. This is the preferred route as it is not only shorter, but is also more rural than the northern route.


Pass Kew’s Royal Botanical Gardens and the appealing town of Richmond which is recorded in the Domesday Book. From Kew Bridge the river then snakes past Kew and Hammersmith Bridge. The trail here is quiet even though evidence of the city is on your right hand-side.  


Overnight: Putney Bridge


Walk: 16km/10m


Day 5: Walk to London/Tower Bridge

It is here between Putney Bridge and Mortlake that the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race is held on a Saturday near Easter every year on a 4.2 mile (6.8km) stretch of the river. It first began in 1829. Up to 250,000 people watch the boat race from the banks and many more on the TV.


The next part of today’s walk takes you into the very heart of London, where you can see the famous skylines,


Overnight: London/Tower Bridge


Walk: 15-16km/9-10m


Day 6: Walk to the Thames Barrier

Now you will be walking through the heart of London’s docklands. At times you will follow the path next to the river and at times through suburban neighbourhoods. On this section there are interesting plaques with historical information.


Once you arrive in Greenwich, (home to Greenwich Mean Time) you will see the Cutty Sark, an historic British sailing ship built in 1869 for the great China tea races of the day. It is located next to the riverside path and the Christopher Wren-designed Old Royal Naval College. Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of history. However, you may want to continue the last few kilometres to the Thames Barrier and the end of your walk, as you can explore Greenwich later, because this is where you will be spending your final night. This barrier was completed in 1982 and was built to decrease central London’s vulnerability to flooding with ever-rising tides. On arrival at the Thames Barrier you can check out the Information Centre, before jumping on a local bus back to Greenwich.


Overnight: Greenwich


Walk: 17-18km/10-11m


Day 7: Departing Point: Greenwich

Greenwich has buses that link to all the major train stations in London and also has a mainline train station. Make your way home from the stations or airports, depending on where you are from.

Accommodation

You will experience a variety of accommodations on this tour from small B&B's and guesthouses, to inn's, hotels and pubs with rooms. Some will be quite simple depending on where they are located and what is available. However, they all offer warm welcomes and traditional hospitality.   In the heart of London we will using chain-style hotels. If you request a booking when there is an event on in London, or it is particularly busy, You may be asked to pay a supplement.


On the Thames Path accommodation choices can be limited along the trail, so if we cannot secure a reservation for you in a particular place you may have to spend 2 nights in one place and we will include a transfer to or from the beginning/end of the walk, whatever is appropriate.


Additional Nights

If you wish to add additional nights along the trail or at the beginning and end of your itinerary please contact us. You may choose to add some rest days, or extra days where there is plenty of opportunity for sightseeing.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


We welcome solo walkers on the Thames Path, although you should of course take extra care in the outdoors when walking alone.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.



 

 

 



76 Duke St B&B

This B&B is proudly owned and operated and provides delightful accommodation in a quiet residential area, only a ten minute walk along the River Thames to Windsor Castle.The bedrooms are beautifully decorated.



 

 

 



The Crown

This hotel has 49 very comfortable and stylish bedrooms. It also has a restaurant, bar and outside seating area in which to relax.



 

 

 



White Hart Hotel

This hotel siuated right next to the Thames River is friendly and modern. All the rooms are quiet, comfortable and well furnished.



 

 

 



London Tower Bridge Hotel (Premier Inn)

Wake up just seconds away from the world's most iconic landmarks at this London Tower Bridge hotel. It features super comfy bedrooms, with an impressive and freshly-updated bathroom and kingsize beds.



 

 

 



The Mitre Innkeeper's Lodge - Greenwich



The Mitre Innkeeper's Lodge

Boasting 24 elegantly furnished en-suite rooms, a resident’s lounge, a secret garden, a conservatory and some of Greenwich’s best pints, this bed and breakfast hotel in Greenwich will ensure you have a truly memorable stay.



 

 

 

Availability

You can start your Thames Path East walk anytime between the April and October. 


Grade & Terrain

Generally this is easy walking as you are, for the most part, walking alongside the Thames and therefore the elevation gains and losses are minimal. At the beginning of this itinerary you will walk in the country along tow and riverside paths and small rural roads, but the further into London you get you will be walking on city streets. However it is incredibly interesting as there are fantastic views of London skylines and you pass interesting and historical features. These itineraries are most suitable for those walkers with previous long distance experience and an good level of physical fitness.


Please note that depending on where you spend the night, the distances may be at times more or less that listed every day. So please be prepared for longer or shorter walks than listed when necessary.  Also the distances listed may not be exactly the same as in the guidebook as different gps units do not measure the distances the same (its not an exact science).


Navigation

The Thames Path is relatively well waymarked. We provide a Thames Path guidebook to assist you in finding your way and GPX tracks are accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone. We also provide detailed maps.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.  


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.

Getting to Windsor

The closest airport to the start of the walk is any of the London Airports. You can easily make your way from any of the London Airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted) into the centre of London. From London Waterloo Station there is a direct train to Windsor which takes approximately 1H. For further information on train travel please visit either the Trainline or National Rail websites.


Getting from Greenwich

In Greenwich there is an over ground train station and from here you can make your way to any of the major train stations, generally changing trains at London Bridge and then taking an underground train. To plan your travel in London visit the Transport for London journey planner.


Included

  • Overnights in B&B’s, guesthouses, inns, hotels & pubs with rooms
  • Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfers
  • Detailed Information Pack, Guidebook and maps
  • Access to the GPX tracks via the Macs Smartphone App
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel to Windsor
  • Travel from Greenwich
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Local Ferry
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you wish to skip a stage
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Solo Walker Supplement
  • Extra nights

How far in advance do I need to book?

Central London in particular is very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as possible.

How fit do I need to be?

Generally this is easy walking as you are, for the most part, walking alongside the Thames and therefore the elevation gains and losses are minimal. These itineraries are most suitable for those walkers with previous long distance experience and a good level of physical fitness.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

Spring, summer and autumn/fall are good times to walk this National Trail. However spring and autumn/fall will be less busy that in July and August.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, bus or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

An amazing journey along an entire river

5

We did the entire walk, from the source to London, and it was absolutely wonderful. It was amazing to see the river Thames begin as a mere dent in the ground and to see it gradually grow from a trickle to a stream to a river, and ultimately to a mighty waterway. The walk is almost entirely flat, so this must be one of the easiest long-distance paths that you can do (but there is still some challenge due to the sheer distance of some sections). The walk is mostly through riverside meadows and streams, but it is never repetitive because you start to notice the subtle changes and watch the landscape gradually transform. Your journey is broken by charming villages, bustling towns and cities, and, of course, London itself at the end. Much of the path is quite lonely, with few other walkers about, so it is a very peaceful experience. There are long sections in which you can listen to the wind in the willows without distraction. Even the London sections are often surprisingly bucolic. Despite its peacefulness, this path contains a lot more civilization than many others. With only two exceptions, each day ends at a fairly substantial town or village where it is easy to buy supplies. This walk is also a fantastic way to enjoy the English country pub in all its relaxing glory. Unmissable highlights include the White Hart in Ashton Keynes, the Trout in Lechlade, the other Trout at Tadpole Bridge, the Barley Mow in Clifton Hampden, the Bull in Sonning, and the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich, but there are so many others that deserve a visit for a swift half, or at least a lime and soda. We enjoyed all of the accomodation, which varied tremendously, from very simple rooms above tiny village pubs to extremely luxurious rooms at stylish hotels. All of them were excellent in their own unique way. The baggage transfer was smooth and unintrusive. Overall, this was an absolutely wonderful experience. Very highly recommended.

R&D

Canada

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Beautiful countryside and villages

5

This walk is flat which is a positive for me! It ambles through the countryside beside the Thames, through farmland, wheat fields, and country towns. If you are wanting a wilderness feeling then this is not the walk. You can hear trains, motorways and see people in their boats on the river. The trail is well labeled and never really a time when it is confusing. The accommodation was mostly great. In Oxford "The Oxford Townhouse" was perfect, breakfast was exceptional and they even made us sandwiches. The Crown and Thistle in Abingdon was lovely and the pub was such a great place to eat too. The George in Wallingsford was in my books a 2 star one. The shower didn't work, it was so hot with no airconditioning, it was tired, old, dirty and the food there was so expensive. Two positives was that it was right opposite Waitrose and wasn't far off the path. This was the longest day walking (24km) so it would have been nice to have a lovely room at the end. The last night was at The Elephant in Pangbourne and it was lovely. The restaurant there was pretty good and fairly good prices. We loved the walk and the whole experience. Thank you Macs Adventures.

Ginnese

Brisbane Australia

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Thames Path East- Discovery of the capital's waterside

4

Best bits - rural feel of South Bank via Richmond and Kew. Windsor a great start. Hated the swarms of tourists near London Eye and Southbank Center. Best to slow down to their speed and meander! Dock lands from Tower Bridge down to Greenwich very annoying as many building sites and Path stolen by too many developers. lots of diversions inland - adds time - about an hour and half more allowance recommended on final day

Steady Eddy

Leicester

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I recommend

4

This is a beautiful easy walking path along the Thames. Nice litle towns with beautiful houses, old houses and churches. Accommodation was in b&b in old pub and guesthouse. Very clean and lovely. I titally recommend this as short relaxing break in the nature. The only con was the first day as there are not many pubs/restaurants on this path and therefor no restrooms.

Edda

Reykjavik Iceland

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We may complete more sections of the Thames Path in future

4

A good experience for a couple of 80+ year olds. We were fortunate with the weather in that there was no rain. We are thinking about doing the section from Oxford towards Reading when we next visit Europe.

None

New Zealand

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Thames Path Complete

4.4 5

100.0

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